The Pageant of Ixworth Abbey
Place: Grounds of Ixworth Abbey (Ixworth) (Ixworth, Suffolk, England)
Number of performances: 2
16–17 June 1921
[One performance was staged each day, in the afternoon].
Name of pageant master and other named staff
- Author and Pageant Master: Bergerac,
Names of executive committee or equivalent
Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)
- Bergerac, Bernice de
Names of composers
Numbers of performers
Object of any funds raised
Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest
Episode I. The Druid’s Sacrifice, 300AD
Druids prepare to sacrifice a girl but she is freed by Paul, a Christian, who proceeds to teach the druids the error of their ways.
Episode II. The Hundred Court of Blackburne, 600AD
Saxons quarrel over the administration of justice; they are assailed and chased away by Norsemen. The Norsemen celebrate and drink mead before the Saxons return and defeat them.
Episode III. The Founding of the Priory, AD 1100AD
Gilbert de Blount returns from the crusades to greet his family.
Interlude. The Monk’s Dream.
Episode IV. The Building of the Church, AD 1470.
Thomas Vyal and the prior prepare plans for the church. A procession of children passes by.
Interlude. The Passing of Wolsey.
Episode V. The Dissolution of the Priory, AD 1537.
Monks with fishing rods come down to the grove. A beggar is given cakes and ale. A messenger announces the Dissolution of the religious houses. Henry VIII and Cromwell arrive with soldiers and force the monks out. A beggar steals a cup and is resoundingly thrashed.
Episode VI. The Visit of Elizabeth, 1595 AD.
Squire and Dame Coddington receive Elizabeth and her court. A masque is performed.
Procession of Episodes.
Key historical figures mentioned
- Wolsey, Thomas (1470/71–1530) royal
minister, archbishop of York, and cardinal
- Cromwell, Thomas, earl of Essex (b. in
or before 1485, d. 1540) royal minister
- Henry VIII (1491–1547) king of
England and Ireland
- Elizabeth I (1533–1603) queen of
England and Ireland
Newspaper coverage of pageant
Bury Free Press
Book of words
- Bergerac, Bernice de. The Pageant of Ixworth Abbey. [Bury St Edmunds], 1921.
Other primary published materials
References in secondary literature
Archival holdings connected to pageant
- Copy of Book of Words in the British Library
Sources used in preparation of pageant
The Pageant Master (or Mistress) of the pageant was Bernice de Bergerac, late of the Theatre Anglais, Paris, and the Adelphi and Garrick in London. She had previously written or acted as pageant master for the Shakespearian Tercentenary Pageant at Wadham College, Oxford (1916), the Oxford Pageant of Victory (1919), and the Missionary Pageant, Alcester (1920).
The Ixworth Pageant told the story of the abbey from its pre-Christian days through to the visit of Elizabeth I after its dissolution during the reformation.
How to cite this entry
Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘The Pageant of Ixworth Abbey’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/1427/